As you will soon discover, San Diego County combines the charm of its historic Spanish heritage with the bustling energy of one of the nation’s most diversified and innovative regional economies. Fueled by the advanced research in San Diego’s world-class universities and institutes, the region is nationally recognized as one of the best places to launch a new business or pursue a career.

The elements that contribute to San Diego’s phenomenal growth and development are also the drivers of a high quality of life. One of the world’s finest year-round climates combines bright sunshine with comfortable temperatures and the serenity of the Pacific Ocean. Residents can easily travel from the beach or mountains to the hauntingly beautiful desert. At the same time, they can enjoy the changing of seasons in the mountainside town of Julian or drive a short distance to the lake and alpine recreation in the mountains that tower above Los Angeles.

Few areas in the nation or even in the world offer as many lifestyle and environmental possibilities within a reasonable distance of major employment centers as San Diego County. Sheer land mass factors into this equation, since San Diego County sprawls over a vast area that is approximately the same size as the state of Connecticut. Because the county is so expansive and geographically varied, the communities that dot the landscape are usually categorized by regions.


Throughout the county, residents enjoy first-rate services that include efficient transportation facilities, state-of-the-art healthcare, and a complete selection of respected public and private schools. At the forefront of medical technology, San Diego’s healthcare system is characterized by quality treatment, cost effectiveness, and easy access to a wide variety of healthcare facilities. The interplay of the nation’s most diversified high-tech economy with hundreds of biotech, communications, software, Internet, and information technology companies combines with world-class institutions like the University of California-San Diego, Scripps Research Institute, the Salk Institute, and the Burnham Institute to continually drive the region toward excellence in every endeavor. Several of the county’s leading hospitals are affiliated with these premier institutions, including the University of California San Diego Medical Center.

As the only university-based health care system in the region, UCSD Healthcare has provided leadership in patient care, biomedical research, education, and community service for more than four decades. In several specialty areas, UCSD physicians are consistently included in local and national “best physician” rankings. The health system includes two university hospitals, the UCSD Medical Center Hillcrest and the John M. and Sally B. Thornton Hospital in La Jolla. Also within this system are several centers of excellence, including the Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center — the region’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center — and the Shiley Eye Center. Throughout the county, a network of general and specialty hospitals combine with every imaginable support facility from home health and rehabilitation to hospice. Conveniently located after-hours treatment and emergency centers are ideal for those who want to avoid emergency room charges or relocating families who are not yet established with a family physician.

The region’s outstanding institutions of higher education and research also set the pace for educational excellence. “Personal choice” is a hallmark of the public education system, and parents can enroll their children in Magnet School programs that are outside of their neighborhood boundaries or take advantage of the “School Choice Program” when openings are available. Magnet programs offer specialized curriculums with a strong emphasis in areas like science, math, computers, foreign language, and performing arts. Throughout the county, academic programs are designed to accommodate challenged students and to stimulate the gifted and talent. Abundant options for private education include independent schools on every academic level and parochial or Christian schools. The options for higher education are many, from vocational and career institutes and community colleges to nationally recognized public universities and private colleges. Within a reasonable commute, Orange County, Los Angeles County, and Riverside County expand the opportunities to attend elite private and public institutions.

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